It is 2019, and businesses can never say that being offline will do them good. Well, neither does Google believe in just any online presence. Google SEO or simply Google Search Algorithm will not rank any website just because it looks good. Being user centric and having a responsive web design are the primary and most important pre-requisites if you want to rank your business in the top search results. User Experience and Responsive Web Design are the ranking factors for Google with their mobile first indexing.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Web design is the method that combines design and development in a website that makes it user-friendly and responds to the user’s behavior and environment, which mostly corresponds to screen size, platform and orientation. The website should be able to automatically respond to the user’s preferences, which eliminates the need for a different design and development for each new gadget.
Since less than 5% navigate past the first page of the SERPS, it is important that you design and develop an SEO friendly website to increase organic traffic and earn first page rankings.
Importance of Responsive and SEO Friendly Web Design
With responsive web design,
- A website and its content are flexible across all screen resolutions and devices.
- It provides an optimal experience for the user across the board, which means your user can read and navigate the site with minimum resizing and scrolling.
- Improved user experience translates to a positive perception of the brand and business. If your customer can access your website easily on all platforms, they are more likely to return to you for more business in the future which means a higher conversion rate for your website.
- Responsive web design and mobile-first indexing is now an important ranking factor. Responsive websites load faster which boosts the website ranking and decreases bounce rate. This also makes social sharing easier, helping you to grow a bigger audience for your brand.
- SEO campaigns and website maintenance are also a part of the process with a mobile friendly website. Responsive web design means you only have one website to look after, which is quicker and less expensive.
- Mobile-friendly websites are now an industry standard, with Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm update.
One of the main reasons why users do not stay on your website for an extended amount of time is because they usually have a hard time navigating through the pages.
Consequently, the time a user spends on your page is used by Google to determine a site’s or page’s quality or value.
A good responsive mobile web design leads to good user experience, and also earns Google’s favor which leads to higher rankings.
Some factors that affect your website’s rankings are:
- Positive Reviews
- Branded Searches
The above three factors are a part of the website design element. Mobile responsive web design is the starting point for your customer’s journey and has a massive impact on their experience.
Page Load Time
Page load time is a key website ranking factor for Google to rank any website – the faster it is the better it is for rankings. It is the job of the SEO expert to make the site load as fast as possible to help your site be ranked higher.
Websites that are more mobile responsive usually load faster than those that are not. This leads to more positive user experience and a boost in rankings.
When a visitor exits your website after only spending a short amount of time or they exit immediately after entering your website, is called a bounce rate. It is directly related to time spent on the site, and Google considers the entry and exit time of visitors for ranking websites.
If Google notices that you have high amounts of bounce rate, then it will directly affect your rankings because Google interprets it as the site not being able to answer the user’s query.
Aside from your content, the design of your page is another factor that makes the visitor stay. If your content is top-notch but the design is below average, more often than not, it will lead to you having massive amounts of bounce rate.
Having a mobile responsive design will not only help you have an appealing design, but it will also help you deliver your content on an organized, easy to comprehend, crisp, and overall clean page. Duplicate content issue
No matter how advanced Google’s crawlers are, they will still need direction from SEO in order to understand which of the pages are the most vital to a certain website. Duplicate content on the website harms the rankings.
Identification of duplicate content
Duplicate content can be identified through –
Variations or Similarities in URL parameters and structures
- Parameters such as click tracking could be a trigger for duplicate content issues.
- Duplicate content issues can also be triggered through session ids.
- Web pages that may be printer friendly versions can also trigger duplicate content issues.
Secured versus Non Secured websites
If any site has any of the following two variations – “www.site.com” and “site.com” or “http://” and “https://”; and if either/or of the versions are LIVE and VISIBLE to search engines, the issue of duplicate content arises. With the Google Panda Algorithm update, it became essential for websites to have a canonicalization tag (rel=”canonical”) so that the search engine knows which version of content is the right one to display. Mobile responsive design on your website eliminates the problem of duplicate content. Responsive design makes it easier to organize content and saves Google having to distinguish similar websites for different devices.
Social sharing is not a direct ranking factor, but it helps build up an audience or following. Having a mobile responsive design makes it easier for website visitors to share the content/pages on social media that could potentially help gain more visitors.
The major benefits and advantages of friendly mobile website design are –
Mobile Search Traffic – According to Statista, the global percentage in the first quarter of 2019 has been around 48.71 percent. Hence a responsive design boosts traffic to the website.
SEO Benefits – A user-friendly responsive web design gives an enormous boost to faster loading time, which decreases the bounce rate. It also helps to boost social media shares and attracts high DA backlinks. With Google’s Mobile First Algorithm update, a responsive web design gives a massive boost to website ranking. Multiple Device Friendly – With responsive website design, any website becomes multiple device friendly as it adapts to different screen sizes as and when a user switches from desktop to laptop, and laptops to tablets, and tablets to desktops.
Hence if you are looking to boost traffic, improve SEO, or increase sales, you need the best website design which is mobile friendly, responsive, and user friendly. Hiring a good web design company for making your website responsive is one of the best decisions you shall ever take.